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September 19, 2019  |  

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There’s Also a Caveat

Published June 19, 2019

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Now that I’ve announced my intention to run for First Selectman again, the editorial policy at The Source says I cannot write my selectman’s column until after the election (provided I am re-elected). While I knew this, it doesn’t mean that I can’t communicate with Madison residents via The Source. I just have to do it as a letter to the editor and keep it short(er).

Last week, I announced in a press release that Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the town’s “Aaa” bond rating—the highest municipal rating available. Moody’s listed the town’s various credit strengths and said its forward outlook for the town is stable, based on the expectation that “the town’s financial position will remain sound given management’s commitment to maintain structural balance and adherence to formally adopted fiscal policies.”

Of course we will. We practice conservative budgeting, which has kept us in a strong financial position. It’s interesting that the press release said that “Madison is one of only 13 municipalities in the state and approximately 230 cities nationwide that carry the highest rating from Moody’s.”

All of this is good news, but there’s also a caveat in Moody’s press release that you should be aware of: Moody’s cautioned that a “significant increase in debt or capital needs” is a factor that could lead to a subsequent downgrade. In light of the schools’ upcoming capital needs and other town capital needs, it’s more important than ever to enact additional regulations to manage our debt and capital going forward. Our finance director has developed such a plan that will balance capital and debt and help us to hold down our mill rate and taxes over the long term.

I’ll be talking more about this and I encourage the Board of Finance to consider and adopt this regulation.

First Selectman Tom Banisch
Madison

Republican Tom Banisch is seeking re-election in November.

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